Dating someone in grad school

Feb 15, 2019 33 Comments

My partner has been a grad student for the past two years as I have started my career. We are long distance on top of it all but I feel like we both don’t understand one another’s struggles (work and career burden and stress and wanting to wind down and hang out after work hours vs being in school and constantly having assignments and only really being able to hang out late at night while studying). Also I have two years of savings, no debt now and thinking to buy a house settle down etc while someone in school is still bright eyed and soul searching for what city and job they would like to have.
We argue a lot and feel hurt that the other person does not fully understand each other’s hardships. I guess there is no easy answer without context but I was wondering if anyone here has been through this and any advice they can give. Basically should we wait it out and keep trying? Should I follow them to their next adventure and city as they chase their dreams?

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TOP 33 Comments
  • Zillow Group Croissants
    Long distance relationship sucks. All I can say.
    Feb 15, 2019 0
  • PayPal blank78
    Wow! That is hard going. Fundamental question is do you love the other person and see a future with them. If you were certain, you probably would take risks to make sure you both stayed together. I took many risks in my life both for my love of traveling, and to help my other half fulfill their dreams. It all worked out, but I was very clear from the start that I was in for the long haul and was willing to make sacrifices to ensure happiness for both of us.
    Feb 15, 2019 7
    • SAP hh@33
      ^ really nicely said. Just had an argument with my boyfriend actually 😅. It’s also really helpful to express your discontents calmly before it builds up.
      Feb 15, 2019
    • PayPal blank78
      Agreed, and you know sometimes we can start to freak out and then burst into giggles, because we know each other so well now! We have made making ourselves heard and understood of the utmost importance and it seems to work for us.
      Feb 15, 2019
  • New !swe
    If you love someone, logistics can be figured out. There's a reason why I see so many couples coming to the US for grad school and then bringing their gf/bf from India an year or two later once they have stabilized a bit here.

    It's about the intent to make it work. You may not experience each other's struggles first hand but I am sure you can draw conclusions from it in a way that the other person can act upon them (like you may not understand how stressful everyday assignment submissions can be but you can agree that she will not be able to talk to you for 2 days before the exam). Don't question why or how, just take their words because they are experiencing the situation first hand.

    A part of being a good partner is to be supportive. If you aren't supportive of her education today, you cannot expect her to be supporting of your next career move tomorrow. I am sure you can talk to her and delay your plans of buying a house. Once she has one offer at hand, both of you will have flexibility to switch jobs to move to the same city.
    Feb 15, 2019 8
    • Salesforce tensorchic
      "over the years" is key. You just don't have the luxury of time if this is not something that started right out of college.
      OP has been dating 3.5 years and his GF wants him to make all the sacrifices and isn't even ready to talk about permanent commitment. He says that he's ready to sacrifice but he isn't sure that she would have if she was in that situation.
      In my opinion it's always like this. The more ambitious one rules the relationship because they care less about the partner and more about their work. If you let that happen in the initial years you'll just end up following and years later realize that things were totally one sided, and you left behind a good life.
      Feb 16, 2019
    • New !swe
      Agree, making things work take time and effort like I mentioned. And you never know the other side of the story. One tends to think about things that are a higher priority right now, that doesn't mean the other things will never be a priority or they are ok letting the other things go. At this moment, for OP buying a house may be a priority, and for his gf completing her education and getting a job maybe a priority. This doesn't mean she would never want a house or would be ok letting OP go. You gotta understand each other's situation.

      Almost no one stumbled upon a long term stable beautiful relationship, they are usually a result of a lot of time, effort, patience, and support. I hope this works out for both of them.
      Feb 16, 2019
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft pkmc
      OP
      Also i know how hard it is to start from scratch and really findthe right person
      Feb 15, 2019
    • Amazon / Data lossfun
      Bar, there is absolutely no reason to assume that the partner in question is a"her."
      Feb 15, 2019
  • Bank of America hpo7albdu
    Hey, I was in a similar situation. And even after graduating I was in a different city coz of work. But we traveled every alternate weekend to each other's cities, and planned fun trips in general. Long distance really does suck. But what sucks more is losing out on someone you love, and want to spend the rest of your life with..coz of logistics.
    Feb 15, 2019 1
    • Microsoft pkmc
      OP
      Did things work out eventually? Who moved to whom?
      Feb 15, 2019
  • Salesforce tensorchic
    Seen two such couples. None lasted.
    Mine too ended.

    I hope you succeed. But I worry one of you might lose your sense of self in order to sacrifice for the other. I could handle breaking up with someone I knew 5y and loved but I couldn't handle losing the person that is myself in the process. To each their own. You don't need to decide now, take some time and introspect.
    Feb 15, 2019 3
    • Microsoft pkmc
      OP
      Yea this hits home but makes me so sad. To sum up my conflicted feelings it’s like.. i dont want to make them choose between following their dreams and compromising to be with me... but I would compromise to be with them and I am devastated knowing if it was a choice they may not choose me.
      Feb 15, 2019
    • Salesforce tensorchic
      :( it saddens me that so many of us are going through this.
      Feb 15, 2019
  • AppLift
    trescomas

    AppLift

    PRE
    Apple
    trescomasmore
    My wife and i did this. I started working and she went to law school across the country. Communication is the best. Talk it all out. Use email if you can’t do skype/facetime. Understand its not forever. Support each other even if you can’t fully empathize. Little things help too. Her love language is words of affirmation. So at least once a day i texted something encouraging/sweet to her to boost her mood. “Kicks ass today babe” “thinking of you”. But even if her love language is different. It still helps her to know you are thinking of her

    It also helps if you know she’s the one. For me, there was no other and was willing to do anything.
    Feb 15, 2019 0
  • Bloomberg EVALSlayer
    I would never recommend choosing a relationship over your livelihood unless you’re already married.

    On the other hand if your partner is not even thinking about marriage, I hate to say it but I think you should start being more sensitive to the weak signals. Although, them signals sound pretty conspicuous.
    Feb 16, 2019 0
  • Apple todai
    Trust me , it will wear off in time ...
    it happens to most grad school couples who get jobs/work in different cities.
    It took me 1 year, I wish I had cut the chord earlier.
    Feb 15, 2019 0
  • SAP hh@33
    I would move to any city my boyfriend is chasing his dreams. Cuz I’m sure I can get a good software position there too. However we would probably compromise on a location and discuss pros and cons.
    Feb 16, 2019 1
    • Salesforce tensorchic
      What if you wanted to do something niche like work on mxnet or tensorflow or go up the corporate ranks and wasn't just satisfied with a software job?
      Asking because I was faced with this situation as well.
      Feb 16, 2019

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